For decades, Esther “Cricket” Temkin had no way to escape the summer heat in her uninsulated home. During 100-plus degree weather, inside temperatures would rise above 90 degrees.
“It was very difficult raising my four kids in a hot house,” Temkin said. “The summers were miserable. I cranked the AC full blast, but our home never cooled down. I got a sinking feeling every time I opened up my bill, which sometimes was as much as $250. I couldn’t afford to pay it and didn’t know how to get help.”
However, things changed in 2012 when she applied for Casa Verde, CPS Energy’s free home weatherization program.
CPS Energy Outreach Specialist Randy De Leon walked her through the short process to apply for Casa Verde during a community event in Converse.
“At first, I was hesitant to apply. I had heard about the program, but thought it was too good to be true,” she said. “Randy’s polite and friendly service made me feel comfortable. It took less than 30 minutes to apply. I’m eternally grateful for CPS Energy’s help.”
Temkin qualified for the program and within a few weeks a contract crew from Roadrunner Remodeling installed free energy-saving measures in her home. The crew installed attic insulation, solar screens and weather stripping to windows and doors to repel the summer heat and keep the inside of her home cool. A blower door test identified areas where cold air was escaping outdoors. The workers filled in these cracks with caulking and added foam gaskets around light switches and electric outlets to further insulate her home. The workers repaired air ducts and replaced a wall with significant water damage caused by a washing machine.
“All the work they did was outstanding,” she said. “I didn’t have to pay anything, but they treated me like a paying customer. They finished all the work in less than a couple weeks.”
Three years later, she’s still experiencing the difference.
“The home stays 20 to 25 degrees cooler than it is outside and my bill hasn’t gone above $175,” she said. “I used to be too embarrassed to invite people over, but now I’m proud to have friends and family visit.”
Temkin wishes she would have applied sooner and encourages everyone who is thinking of applying to go ahead and take the initial step.
“If you’re hesitant to apply for Casa Verde, you have nothing to worry about,” she said. “There’s no need to wait. If you qualify, go ahead and apply today!”
Then, make plans to attend the next Community Programs Fair on Thursday, May 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Judson Middle School, 9695 Schaeffer Rd. CPS Energy employees will be there to answer questions and help you quickly apply.
Temkin plans to attend the event to encourage her neighbors to apply. Visit cpsenergy.com for more information about Casa Verde or call 353-CASA (2272).